Oops, ‘scuse me…

Here’s the thing.  My kid has never had severe gastrointestinal issues.   I know lots of children with autism suffer digestive and other diet-related and food-allergy related problems and that many have success with the gluten-free, etc. diets.  This is not my son.  Sure, just like any other child, he suffers his tummy upsets but, I think, on the whole his digestive tract is in good working order (knock on wood).  He does not drink carbonated beverages.

My son, as I have freely said on this blog more than one time, is a picky eater.  We still have lots of food issues.  Actually, since OT started working on those, I’ve noticed more and more that he seems to have this spacial issue with where food is in relation to his mouth.  (Of course, my husband has a deceptively similar problem but I just call that sloppy eating.)   The kid actually seems to be struggling to understand where the food is in relation to his mouth.  Somewhat like there is novocaine around his mouth and lips.

The last thing I’d need at this point is another physiological ailment to contend with.

Now, having said all that, according to multiple reports from semi-reliable sources (ABA and Jessica…) I’m being told he is “belching” up to 100 times per day during school and in therapy.  Hmm…..  The extra weird thing about this is that he does not do it around me.

Whoa, whoa!  Now, I’m not saying it never happens around me, because, yes, it does.  But I’d say, in the last week, he’s given me a good, full-on belch, three times.  As soon as he does it, I give him the look.  You know, “the mom look.”  On one occasion, he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, mommy.”  Ah, if only the “look” worked all the time.  No such luck.

On the other two occasions, I have been within 10 feet of him.  I casually say, “Mommy doesn’t like the burp.  It is not nice.  Mommy does not want to hear the burp.”  This has – surprisingly and actually – worked.  He stops.

Now, truthfully, my husband does not belch or burp much.  Despite his many other bad habits, he does not have this one.  Between the two of us, it’s probably me who is guilty of this habit more.  And I do know of a certain, blonde someone, other than me, whom the boy spends significant quantities of time with, who may have – on occasion – let one freely release in his presence at some point in the past, and who denies all responsibility.

I have some trouble and no trouble at all (yes- you read that right- I’m directly and intentionally contradictory) believing this is my kid burping 100 times per day with his therapists and Jessica.  The hard-to-believe part is that he barely does this with me at all.  The easy part?  It’s a repetitive behavior that’s easy to do and my kid loves repetitive behaviors that are easy to do.

So, I’m left thinking – what do I do?  It’s not a behavior he does around me.  How can I help to stop it?  I guess I can’t.  I’ll have to leave it to the therapists to figure out why he does it and what to do about it.

They’re in the data taking stage right now.  Then, the plan gets formulated and executed.  I wonder if it has something to do with my absence and the change to kindergarten, for which he professes his deep love.  I don’t know.

Maybe it will fade as we get settled into more of our old routine.  We shall see.  The dust still has not settled on my return.  I guess we’ll just take it one day at a time.

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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10 Responses to Oops, ‘scuse me…

  1. Kelly Hafer says:

    Luckily, Ted doesn’t have the burp thing going on (because when he does burp, they sound “juicy”, so hearing 100 of those bad boys in one day might make ME gag!). He does however do very strange throat noises throughout the day. Think bull frog mating season. That’s what he does. Oh, and he can intentionally and purposefully make himself have the hiccups. :-/

    • solodialogue says:

      The weird part is that he reserves this talent for the public instead of performing at home for me. They do have these odd “skills”, don’t they? Bull frog mating season?! I’ll call you as soon as I come up with a plan… 😉

  2. Little Miss is also not one for the burping and if she catches you burping she will loudly announce that you need to say “scuse me!” She does get the hiccups… a LOT. Like daily. But I think those are innocent enough…

    Is T getting some kind of accidental positive reinforcement when he burps? Does Jessica laugh? Or maybe he likes the attention of being told that he needs to excuse himself… just some thoughts. I imagine the tutors will collect this kind of data anyhow… but maybe it will help?

  3. Look on the bright side, at least burping is semi-age appropriate behavior, at least when you’re talking about little boys.

    100 times an hour is a ton though. Hope you can figure something out and that the “mom look” works in the meantime.

  4. Lizbeth says:

    Alex would do the same thing and I never understood it. He would do this tickle thing (come up and move his fingers all around your arm, very annoying) to everyone except me. I didn’t believe it till I saw him do it at school. I was mortified. We did a social story and it stopped but it had me floored knowing he did something to others that I had no clue about. Weird.

    Glad to see you’re back among the blogging! My browser didn’t update me on your new posts. I’ll have to look into that. Weird too.

  5. ElizOF says:

    Maybe it is a new sound he enjoys and then he repeats it… this too shall pass.. 🙂

  6. Trish says:

    My behavior specialist also says that by the time she gets something written into the treatment plan, my son has stopped that and moved on to something else! We have been through various noises, hair twirling, etc, and he usually did it less with me than elsewhere. I think the frequency may be a reflection of stress. Some people might even call it a tic, especially if he can’t stop it when asked.

    Good luck! Hopefully a social story and finding a replacement behavior will help him transition to something more socially appropriate and less disruptive!!

  7. Brian says:

    I fail to see the problem here. Every mother’s dream.

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